\ ˈshrimp How to pronounce shrimp (audio) , especially Southern ˈsrimp \
plural shrimp or shrimps

Definition of shrimp

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : any of numerous mostly small and marine decapod crustaceans (suborders Dendrobranchiata and Pleocyemata) having a slender elongated body, a compressed abdomen, and a long spiny rostrum and including some (especially family Penaeidae) that are commercially important as food also : a small crustacean (such as an amphipod or a branchiopod) resembling the true shrimp
2 usually disparaging : a very small or puny person or thing


shrimped; shrimping; shrimps

Definition of shrimp (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to fish for or catch shrimp

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from shrimp


shrimplike \ ˈshrimp-​ˌlīk How to pronounce shrimplike (audio) , ˈsrimp-​ \ adjective
shrimpy \ ˈshrim-​pē How to pronounce shrimpy (audio) , ˈsrim-​ \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for shrimp

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of shrimp in a Sentence

Noun He's a little shrimp of a boy. the boy was just a shrimp until his teens, when he had a growth spurt
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Popular items so far, Dial said, include the zesty shrimp and grits, breakfast pita sandwiches, avocado toast and sweet potato fries. Anne Nickoloff, cleveland, "Newly opened Kafela restaurant brings ‘LA vibes to St. Clair’," 10 Sep. 2020 Start your meal with Blue Point oysters or clams on the half shell ($2 apiece), or dig into a platter of fried shrimp and fish n’ chips. Leeanne Griffin,, "Parkville Market, ‘biggest restaurant in Connecticut’ offers taste of the globe," 18 Aug. 2020 Choose from American Gulf shrimp and goat cheese grits, guajillo seared ahi tuna on a bed of quinoa, or tomato and burrata salad with basil sorbet marinated cucumbers for the starter. Georgann Yara, azcentral, "Father's Day 2020: 48 metro Phoenix restaurants with special deals for dine-in and takeout," 15 June 2020 In addition to the roasted pig, the Hawaiian dinner includes lime-coconut shrimp, teriyaki chicken, pineapple slaw, coconut-cashew rice and sweet rolls. Shannon Sutlief, Dallas News, "Fun things to do this month in Dallas-Fort Worth — online, outdoors and more," 27 Aug. 2020 To make adobo, which can be wet (very saucy) or dry (crispier and less soupy), pork, chicken, tubers, vegetables, squid, lamb, shrimp, or even duck, is simmered in vinegar, often with soy sauce, black peppercorns, and bay leaves. Raphael Ilagan, Bon Appétit, "An *Extremely Condensed* Guide to Filipino Vinegars," 24 Aug. 2020 In Empire, Louisiana, about 50 miles south of New Orleans near the mouth of the Mississippi River, shrimp, oyster and fishing boats line the docks. The Christian Science Monitor, "Residents in Louisiana and Texas prepare for two hurricanes," 23 Aug. 2020 In Empire, Louisiana, about 50 miles south of New Orleans near the mouth of the Mississippi River, shrimp, oyster and fishing boats line the docks. Rebecca Santana, Jeff Martin And Seth Borenstein, Anchorage Daily News, "Residents flee as Gulf Coast sees possible tandem hurricanes," 23 Aug. 2020 Don’t stop with salmon; shrimp, scallops, and just about any fish benefit from this treatment. Sunset Magazine, "7 Reasons Why You Need to Buy a Gas Grill," 19 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The menu at Aaron & Moses - at 2615 Glenwood Dr., Twinsburg - features appetizers like wings, calamari and shrimp tacos; salads, sandwiches (turkey gouda, grilled chicken avocado, others) and entrees (fish, steaks, chops and more). Marc Bona, cleveland, "Chef Art Pour Restaurant Group takes over Aaron & Moses," 5 Sep. 2020 Zac Maras’ mural depicting cavorting crabs, shrimp and pigs on the exterior of the soon-to-open Crawfish King crawfish and barbecue restaurant on Franklin Avenue near Filmore Avenue has nothing whatever to do with the coronavirus. Doug Maccash,, "Franklin Ave. artwork changes with times, from education to Black Lives Matter to coronavirus," 31 Aug. 2020 Lemony basil and shrimp make an ideal combo for a simple spaghetti dinner. Kari Sonde, Washington Post, "6 simple ways to dress up a spaghetti dinner," 24 Aug. 2020 Empanada Bodega, an empanada kiosk offering 12 fillings from common (beef, chicken, barbecue pork, shrimp) to not-so-common (Hawaiian-style, guava and cheese). Phillip Valys,, "Sistrunk Marketplace, Fort Lauderdale’s first food hall, opens next week. Here’s your first look | PHOTOS," 22 Aug. 2020 Among its offerings is seafood like lobster, salmon, clams, shrimp, and more. Liv Birdsall, USA TODAY, "The 10 best places to order seafood online," 11 Aug. 2020 Add shrimp and cook, turning once, until opaque throughout, 2 to 3 minutes. Erika Dugan And Kate Merker, Country Living, "Herbes de Provence Shrimp with Basil and Pea Couscous," 5 Apr. 2020 Popular dishes include shrimp Mosca, chicken a la grande and baked oysters Mosca, made with breadcrumps and Italian seasonings., "Out_To_Eat-Long 8-18-20," 17 Aug. 2020 Traces of the coronavirus on chicken wings from Brazil and shrimp packaging from Ecuador were detected in two cities in China, local authorities said on Thursday. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "Coronavirus detected in China on chicken wings and shrimp packaging from South America," 13 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shrimp.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of shrimp


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1808, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for shrimp


Middle English shrimpe; akin to Middle Low German schrempen to contract, wrinkle, Old Norse skorpna to shrivel up

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about shrimp

Time Traveler for shrimp

Time Traveler

The first known use of shrimp was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for shrimp

Last Updated

14 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Shrimp.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for shrimp


How to pronounce shrimp (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of shrimp

: a small shellfish that has a long body and legs and that is eaten as food
informal : a very small or unimportant person


\ ˈshrimp How to pronounce shrimp (audio) \

Kids Definition of shrimp

1 : a small shellfish of the sea that is related to the crabs and lobsters and is often used for food
2 : a very small or unimportant person or thing

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on shrimp

What made you want to look up shrimp? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three bears two of them look like theyre whispering to a third bear who looks chuffed to be the center of attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!